It's surprising to think this Everton team won just one of their final six games last season in light of their dazzling start to the new campaign.

In stark contrast to the 'on-the-beach' side we saw from early July onwards, the Toffees look like they have been injected with new life in recent showings.

An impressive 1-0 win away at Tottenham on the opening weekend was followed by a 5-2 thrashing of 10-man West Brom on Saturday.

In between the two Premier League fixtures, Carlo Ancelotti's men produced a professional display to beat Salford City 3-0 in the Carabao Cup.

Ancelotti's summer recruitment has no doubt played a significant part in reinvigorating a squad which has struggled with inconsistency since long before his appointment last December.

Everton thumped the Baggies at Goodison

The Italian has combined grit and technical prowess in a new-look midfield with former Napoli enforcer Allan alongside ex-Watford star Abdoulaye Doucoure.

And, of course, the icing on the cake is James Rodriguez. Signed from Real Madrid, the 29-year-old has hit the ground running to remind fans just what a 'wand of a left foot' really is.

James played key roles in both Premier League wins, controlling and switching play from the deep while also drifting into advanced areas where he has the chance to cross or shoot.

The Colombian's rifled effort into the bottom corner against the Baggies was followed by a delightful scooped pass to find Richarlison and set up Dominic Calvert-Lewin's second goal.

James' complete display was capped as his out-swinging corner found - albeit fortuitously - the back Calvert-Lewin's head to complete a five-star Everton performance.

Can Calvert-Lewin and James fire Everton to a top-four finish? Have your say here.

New boy James has hit the ground running...
...while striker Calvert-Lewin is in fine form

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The partnership emerging between the pair is sure to have caught the eyes of the Toffees' Premier League rivals.

Calvert-Lewin has already netted four times and looks set to improve on his 13-goal haul from last season, and he hailed James' influence when speaking after his hat-trick heroics.

"He has played at the highest level and you can see the quality he has," the 23-year-old told Sky Sports. "He has settled right into the team and the Premier League. It has not been too difficult for him.

"But it's important not to get carried away. I just need to keep taking care of business, scoring goals and playing well, and the rest will take care of itself."

James has made seven key passes in just two matches and his creative ability will be key to ensuring Calvert-Lewin's hot streak continues.

Heaping praise on Everton's performance as a team, Calvert-Lewin added: "You look at the quality we have got on the ball, it was important we utilised the extra man.

"We created space and chances, and I was happy to be in the box to tap them in."

Calvert-Lewin's hunger and attitude is indicative of the transformation occurring at Goodison Park.

The Toffees have quality in midfield and attack and the depth to compete in cup competitions - as shown when a much-changed side saw off Salford without trouble in midweek.

Everton may have limped to a 12th-place finish last season, but top-four contenders are sure to have been put on high alert by what they have seen from Ancelotti's men so far.

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